If You or a Friend are Accused of Sexual Assault
- Within 72 hours an individual can be treated prophylactically for certain STDs and within 120 hours for pregnancy (if that is a concern). Most hospital ERs offer this treatment; in Cedar Rapids Unity Point Health St. Luke's Hospital and Mercy Medical Center offer emergency pregnancy prophylaxis. Most physician offices, Planned Parenthood, and The Emma Goldman Clinic can also provide this treatment. There may be a charge for this service. Also important is follow-up testing for STDs such as HIV.
Mental health follow-up:
- On-campus free, individual counseling is available to individuals accused of sexual assault, to help deal with feelings related to being accused, decision making, and exploring behaviors such as alcohol use. If appropriate, a referral to an off-campus mental health professional may be provided. You might offer to help an accused friend by accompanying him or her to the Counseling Center for the first visit. Support persons for those accused of assault may also obtain counseling from the Center. For more information call ext. 4292.
- Off campus counseling is available at many locations in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City areas.
- The Foundation 2 crisis line is available 24 hours a day at 362-2174.
Legal and adjudicatory concerns following a sexual assault:
- In the State of Iowa, a survivor has 10 years from the date of a sexual assault (or 10 years after their 18th birthday if they are a minor when assaulted) to report the assault to the police and pursue prosecution. A survivor can make a report & choose not to prosecute, but still have the report on file. An accused individual may also wish to consult with the police to share his or her perspective, and should consult a qualified attorney if criminal charges are pursued against him or her.
- Cornell's policy establishes that as long as the accused is a member of the Cornell community, the college may investigate and take necessary action if warranted. Prompt reporting is crucial to help ensure full investigation of complaints and is thus encouraged. Currently, on-campus procedures include that a survivor may provide an informal report to the College or file a formal complaint and report of what happened with the Dean of Students. If a formal complaint is filed, the College will then proceed with an investigation, which will typically include contacting the accused student, who will write his or her own report of what happened, and a faculty-staff hearing board may hear the "case." The Dean of Students (Heidi Levine, Old Sem, x4234) and the College's Sexual Misconduct Liaison (Becki Elkins, 1st Floor Old Sem, x4595) are available to assist both the complainant and the accused. For more information, see the complete sexual misconduct policy online.
- Civil court proceedings are a third option available to a survivor. This course does not result in criminal action against the accused. Rather, monetary damages can be sought through this avenue. If civil proceedings are brought against an accused student, the student should consult a qualified attorney.
What to do to help the accused:
- Listen to your friend from his or her point of view.
- Accept your friend as a person, even if you don't agree with his or her behavior.
- If possible, provide an atmosphere where he or she can express honest feelings.
- Be honest with your friend about how much support you can give.
- Help your friend generate alternatives and options in dealing with the situation.
- Let your friend make the ultimate decision about what to do.
- Direct the friend to campus or community resources.
- Realize that you, too, have been affected and seek support/counseling if necessary.
What NOT to do:
- Don't try to tell your friend what to do.
- Don't offer your help and support if it is not genuine on your part.
- Don't blame your friend for what happened--if you weren't there, you don't know.
- Don't blame the "victim"--again, you don't know exactly what happened.
- Don't assume you know how your friend wants to be treated--ask him or her.
- Don't rely on your friend to deal with your own feelings about what might have happened.
- Don't break your friend's trust by telling others what might have happened.
Important Contact Numbers:
.........from campus phone 4299
.........from non-campus phone 895-4299
Mt. Vernon Police 895-6141
Cedar Rapids Police 286-5491
Counseling Center 895-4292
Foundation II Crisis Line 362-2174 or 800-332-4224
.........(24-hour crisis line for any concern)